Jan 6, 2021 8:39 PM EST

Obama urges Republican leaders to ‘choose reality’

Former President Barack Obama said the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday is “a moment of great dishonor and shame” for the United States, but not a surprise.

In a statement Wednesday night, Obama criticized President Donald Trump’s repeated but baseless accusations of fraud in the 2020 presidential election.”For two months now, a political party and its accompanying media ecosystem has too often been unwilling to tell their followers the truth — that this was not a particularly close election and that President-elect Biden will be inaugurated on January 20,” he said.

Obama went on to commend Republican leaders — including state and local officials — who have spoken out against the president’s rhetoric. “We need more leaders like these — right now and in the days, weeks, and months ahead as President-elect Biden works to restore a common purpose in our politics.”

Obama is one of a number of current and former public officials who have released statements in the aftermath of a violent pro-Trump mob forcing its way into the Capitol building today.

Amid the clashes between his supporters and police, Trump released a video statement doubling down on his false election fraud claims while also asking that protests remain peaceful and respect law enforcement.